All of us engage in and make use of valid reasoning, but the reasoning
we actually perform differs in various ways from the inferences
studied by most (formal) logicians. Reasoning as performed by human
beings typically involves information obtained through more than one
medium. Formal logic, by contrast, has thus far been primarily
concerned with valid reasoning which is based on information in one
form only, i.e., in the form of sentences. Recently, many
philosophers, psychologists, logicians, mathematicians, and computer
scientists have become increasingly aware of the importance of
multi-modal reasoning and, moreover, much research has been undertaken
in the area of non-symbolic, especially diagrammatic, representation
systems.[ 1 ]
This entry outlines the overall directions of this new research area
and focuses on the logical status of diagrams in proofs, their
representational function and adequacy, different kinds of
diagrammatic systems, and the role of diagrams in
Could spacetime be derived rather than fundamental? The question is pressing because attempts to quantize gravity have led to theories in which (arguably) there are either no, or only extremely thin, spacetime structures. Moreover, recent proposals for the interpretation of quantum mechanics have suggested that 3-dimensional space may be an ‘appearance’ derived from the 3N -dimensional space in which an N -particle wavefunction lives (cross-reference). In fact, I will largely assume a positive answer, and investigate how it could be; in particular, I want to explicate the role of philosophy in producing a satisfactory explanation of spacetime, providing a roadmap for philosophical engagement with quantum gravity. First, I will explain why such a derivation can be described as ‘emergence’.
The science fiction novel Quarantine portrays a world wherein interaction with human observers is necessary to collapse quantum wavefunctions. The author, Greg Egan, amusingly puts the emphasis on the observers being human — aliens can’t do it. Aliens are therefore at a tremendous disadvantage. As we gaze at the night sky, we are constantly collapsing alien worlds, depriving them of their branch diversity. Whole civilizations are being snuffed out by our observations! Understandably the aliens grow tired of this. In response they erect an impenetrable shield around the solar system, one that blinds us to the outside universe. This shield protects the rest of the universe from harmful human observation, locking humanity into a starless Bubble.
The clock hypothesis is taken to be an assumption independent of special relativity necessary to describe accelerated clocks. This enables to equate the time read off by a clock to the proper time. Here, it is considered a physical system—the light clock—proposed by Marzke and Wheeler. Recently, Fletcher proved a theorem that shows that a sufficiently small light clock has a time reading that approximates to an arbitrary degree the proper time. The clock hypothesis is not necessary to arrive at this result. Here, one explores the consequences of this regarding the status of the clock hypothesis. It is argued in this work that there is no need for the clock hypothesis in the special theory of relativity.
Wrongdoing is an inescapable fact of life. We all do wrong and are wronged from time to time and in response we often blame one another. In the broadest sense, moral blame is a personal response to wrongdoing or wrongbeing, which can manifest in a variety of mental states— e.g., judgments, desires, dispositions, and emotions—as well as in behavior. We blame for a variety of wrongs, in a variety of ways, and with a variety of consequences: one expresses disappointment with an unfaithful partner who then apologizes, another rants about injustice thereby alienating part of her Facebook community, a third turns inward in frustration with a neglectful parent who in turn mistakes her withdrawal for indifference. Such conflicts are not the whole or even the greater part of our shared social existence, but they are a defining feature of it.
Latin American feminism, which in this entry includes Caribbean
feminism, is rooted in the social and political context defined by
colonialism, the enslavement of African peoples, and the
marginalization of Native peoples. Latin American feminism focuses on
the critical work that women have undertaken in reaction to the forces
that created this context. At present, the context is dominated by
neoliberal economic policies that, in the environment of
globalization, have disproportionally impacted the most vulnerable
segments of society. Against this political backdrop, Latin American
feminism is grounded in the material lives of people, often women, as
it explores the tensions engendered by the confluence of histories
that generate relationships among gender, citizenship, race/ethnicity,
sexuality, class, community, and religion.
Although a prominent question in ancient Greek political philosophy, the question of political expertise or political skill is one that has received little recent philosophical discussion—particularly outside of debates about exactly how to read and interpret Plato. This is unfortunate, as the idea of political expertise or skill relevant to politics continues to be prominent in popular discussions of political candidates, in empirical research relating to voter and political official competence, and, implicitly, in discussions of what have come to be called technocratic or epistocratic political systems.
Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848) was a Catholic priest, a professor
of the doctrine of Catholic religion at the Philosophical Faculty of
the University of Prague, an outstanding mathematician and one of the
greatest logicians or even (as some would have it) the
greatest logician who lived in the long stretch of time between
Leibniz and Frege. As far as logic is concerned, Bolzano anticipated
almost exactly 100 years before Tarski and Carnap their semantic
definitions of logical truth and logical consequence; and in
mathematics he is not only known for his famous Paradoxes of the
Infinite, but also for certain results that have become and still
are standard in textbooks of mathematics such as the
Plato’s shorter ethical works show Socrates at work on topics related
to virtue, which he believes we should seek for the sake of the soul as we should
seek health for the body. Works in this group shows stylistic as well
as philosophic affinities and are generally considered to have been
written early in Plato’s career. The dialogues in this group are our
main source for the philosophical style and teaching of the Platonic
Socrates, who is thought by some scholars to be to a reasonable
approximation of the historical figure. In this article,
“Socrates” always refers to the Platonic figure in the
works under discussion here.
From the very beginning the main point under debate has been the attitude to take to the departure From customary principles of natural philosophy Characteristic of the novel development of physics which was initiated in the first year of this century by Planck's discovery of the universal quantum of action?
The problem of the reduction of chemistry to physics has been traditionally addressed in terms of classical structural chemistry and standard quantum mechanics. In this work, we will study the problem from the perspective of the Quantum Theory of Atoms in Molecules (QTAIM), proposed by Richard Bader in the nineties. The purpose of this article is to unveil the role of QTAIM in the inter-theoretical relations between chemistry and physics. We argue that, although the QTAIM solves two relevant obstacles to reduction by providing a rigorous definition of chemical bond and of atoms in a molecule, it appeals to concepts that are unacceptable in the quantum-mechanical context. Therefore, the QTAIM fails to provide the desired reduction. On the other hand, we will show that the QTAIM is more similar to Bohmian mechanics and that the basic elements of both theories are closely related.
This paper introduces some basic ideas and formalism of physics in non-commutative geometry. It is a draft (written back in 2011) of a chapter of Out of Nowhere, a book on quantum gravity that I am co-authoring with Christian Wuthrich. Although it has long been suggested that quantizing gravity – imposing canonical commutations in some way – will lead to the coordinate commutation relations of non-commutative geometry, there is no known formal requirement that this be so. Nevertheless, such relations do show up in theories of quantum gravity, for instance as the result of a possible Planck scale non-locality in the interactions of the D-branes of string theory.
In his recent Editorial Article, Jeffrey Seeman (2017) calls for the promotion of collaborative work among different disciplines, focusing on the case of the interaction between chemistry, the history of chemistry and the philosophy of chemistry. From a general viewpoint, it is difficult to disagree with this claim; moreover, the interest of scientists in the history and the philosophy of science is always welcome. However, the devil is in the details: there are several points that, we think, must be discussed more carefully with the aim of arriving at far-reaching conclusions.
According to classical molecular chemistry, molecules have a structure, that is, they are sets of atoms with a definite arrangements in space and held together by chemical bonds. The concept of molecular structure is central to modern chemical thought given its impressive predictive power. It is also a very useful concept in chemistry education, due to its role in the rationalization and visualization of microscopic phenomena. However, such a concept seems to find no place in the ontology described by quantum mechanics, since it appeals to classical notions such as the position of the atomic nuclei or the individuality of electrons. Although this problem has attracted the attention of several authors, the discussion is far from settled. Some authors adopt an explicitly reductionist position and advocate to reconstruct the concept of molecular structure within the framework of the quantum theory. Others, although acknowledging the conceptual discontinuity between quantum mechanics and molecular chemistry, keep the hope of future reduction alive. From an explicitly non-reductionist position, on the contrary, others authors conceive molecular structure as an emergent phenomenon.
The celu of the philosophical literature on the hole argument is the 1987 paper by Earman & Norton [“What Price Space-time Substantivalism? The Hole Story” Br. J. Phil. Sci ]. This paper has a well-known back-story, concerning work by Stachel and Norton on Einstein’s thinking in the years 1913-15. Less well-known is a connection between the hole argument and Earman’s work on Leibniz in the 1970s and 1980s, which in turn can be traced to an argument first presented in 1975 by Howard Stein. Remarkably, this thread originates with a misattribution: the argument Earman attributes to Stein, which ultimately morphs into the hole argument, was not the argument Stein gave. The present paper explores this episode and presents some reflections on how it bears on the subsequent literature.
In their article on singularities and black holes in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Peter Bokulich and Erik Curiel raise a series of important philosophical questions regarding black holes, including the following: “Black holes appear to be crucial for our understanding of the relationship between matter and spacetime. . . . when matter forms a black hole, it is transformed into a purely gravitational entity. When a black hole evaporates, spacetime curvature is transformed into ordinary matter. Thus black holes offer an important arena for investigating the ontology of spacetime and ordinary objects.”  This paper aims to address these issues in the context of string theoretic models of black holes, with the aim of illuminating the ontological unification of gravity and matter, and the interpretation of cosmological models, within string theory. §1 will describe the central concepts of the theory: the fungibility of matter and geometry, and the reduction of gravity and supergravity. The ‘standard’ interpretation presented draws on that implicit in the thinking of many (but not all) string theorists, though made more explicit and systematic than usual. §2 will explain how to construct a stringy black hole, and some of its features, including evaporation. §3 will critically examine the assumptions behind such modeling, and their bearing on Curiel and Bokulich’s ontological questions.
John Stuart Mill’s A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive, being a connected view of the principles of evidence, and the methods of scientific investigation was the most popular and influential treatment of scientific method throughout the second half of the 19th century. As is well-known, there was a radical change in the view of probability endorsed between the first and second editions. There are three different conceptions of probability interacting throughout the history of probability: (1) Chance, or Propensity — for example, the bias of a biased coin. (2) Judgmental Degree of Belief — for example, the degree of belief one should have that the bias is between .6 and .7 after 100 trials that produce 81 heads. (3) Long-Run Relative Frequency — for example, proportion of heads in a very large, or even infinite, number of flips of a given coin.
pectedly at the age of 55. In light of her death, I immediately experienced intense grief. And this seems as it should be: my reason for grief was that my mother had died, not exactly young, but too young. Indeed, if I had not experienced such grief, something would have been wrong with me. Contrast me with Camus’s character Meursault in The Stranger who, a day after his mother’s funeral, goes to the movies with a new love interest (1942/1988).
In this reply to J. Edward Hackett’s “Why James Can Be an Existential Pluralist,” we show that Hackett’s argument against our 2005 thesis that pragmatism and pluralism are inconsistent fails. First, his rejection of our distinction between epistemic and metaphysical forms of pluralism does not affect our original argument’s soundness. Second, his proposed existential pluralism is a form of monism, and so fails as an example of pragmatist pluralism. Though we no longer hold the inconsistency thesis that we defended in 2005, Hackett’s criticism of it nevertheless fails.
This paper critically assesses the proposal that scientific realists do not need to search for a solution of the measurement problem in quantum mechanics, but should instead dismiss the problem as ill-posed. James Ladyman and Don Ross have sought to support this proposal with arguments drawn from their naturalized metaphysics and from a Bohr-inspired approach to quantum mechanics. I show that the first class of arguments is unsuccessful, because formulating the measurement problem does not depend on the metaphysical commitments which are undermined by ontic structural realism, rainforest realism, or naturalism in general. The second class of arguments is problematic due to its refusal to provide an analysis of the term “measurement”. It turns out that the proposed dissolution of the measurement problem is in conflict not only with traditional forms of scientific realism but even with the rather minimal realism that Ladyman and Ross themselves defend. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of two related proposals: Healey’s pragmatist approach and Bub’s information-theoretic interpretation.
This paper attempts to develop an ethico-aesthetic framework for enriching one’s life and ethical outlook. Drawing primarily from Nietzsche, Foucault, and Heidegger, an argument is made that Heidegger’s understanding of this issue was mistaken. The ontological crisis of modernity is not the overt influence of mathematics as a worldview over poetics and more traditionally aesthetic approaches. It is the rampant mis- and over-application of abstraction within one's view of the world while denying the material realities of life as we live it. This runaway abstractive worldview leads to the misapplication of mathematics and other sciences which in turn facilitate the dehumanization of life and those within it. When we try to solve the real problems of our material human lives through overly abstractive means, then we arrive at inauthentic arguments that fuel popular disdain for philosophy as irrelevant and nothing more than the purview of the elite. The goal is a recalibration of the argument toward addressing the denial of materiality within Modernism.
Aurelius Augustinus [more commonly “St. Augustine of
Hippo,” often simply “Augustine”] (354–430
C.E. ): rhetor, Christian Neoplatonist, North African Bishop,
Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the decisive developments
in the western philosophical tradition was the eventually widespread
merging of the Greek philosophical tradition and the Judeo-Christian
religious and scriptural traditions. Augustine is one of the main
figures through and by whom this merging was accomplished. He is, as
well, one of the towering figures of medieval philosophy whose
authority and thought came to exert a pervasive and enduring influence
well into the modern period (e.g.
Ancient political philosophy is understood here to mean ancient Greek
and Roman thought from the classical period of Greek thought in the
fifth century BCE to the end of the Roman empire in the West in the
fifth century CE, excluding the development of Jewish and Christian
ideas about politics during that period. Political philosophy as a
genre was invented in this period by Plato and, in effect, reinvented
by Aristotle: it encompasses reflections on the origin of political
institutions, the concepts used to interpret and organize political
life such as justice and equality, the relation between the aims of
ethics and the nature of politics, and the relative merits of
different constitutional arrangements or regimes.
May argues successfully that many claims about the causal influence of affect on moral judgment are overblown. But the findings he cites are compatible with many of the key arguments of philosophical sentimentalists. His account of rationalism, in turn, relies on an overly broad notion of inference, and leaves open crucial questions about how we reason to moral conclusions.
This essay covers two criticisms of Brennan’s Against Democracy. The first charges that the public political ignorance findings upon which Brennan relies are not epistemically nuanced to the degree required by his argument. The second covers an internal difficulty with his trio of political personae, hobbits, Vulcans, and hooligans. As it is part of the nature of hooligans to take themselves to be Vulcans, any epistocratic arrangement that does not favor the hooligans’ perspectives will be met by them with hostility. Thus, it is not clear whether any epistocratic order could be stable if Brennan’s tripartite scheme of political personalities is correct. Finally, the paper raises the possibility that Brennan’s favored forms of epistocracy are ultimately not truly anti-democratic at all, but rather forms of democracy epistemic enhancement.
What makes a question or a statement meaningful as opposed to nonsensical? This is a hard question, and perhaps not a very fruitful one in philosophy since the falling out of favour of verificationism. …
How does affect relate to time? This chapter offers a phenomenological perspective on the temporal character of affectivity. It argues that the past predominates, and that a concrete, ongoing history prevails within the embodied and embedded unfolding of affect. While affect happens in the present and instigates, pre-figures and transitions to the future, it is decisively anchored in what has been: in a materially sedimented past which continues to weigh on all conceivable ways of being. With reference to Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Fanon and contemporary feminist and anti-racist phenomenologists, I outline the contours of a temporal account of affectivity that foregrounds the past. Subsequently, I relate this outlook to Christina Sharpe’s powerful conceptual metaphor ‘the Wake’, suggesting that it is not historicity as such but a particular ongoing history of violent appropriation, oppression and displacement that keeps setting the tone for affective being-in-the-world in this day and age. Thereby, the present account makes tentative contact with a strand of work in black studies that is sometimes called ‘Afro-Pessimism’.
This entry carves out two central segments of the meaning of “political affect” without aspiring to an exhaustive analysis. In the first half of the text, we will explore the ontological proximity between “affect and the political” in a philosophical key, drawing on Spinoza’s considerations on the affect-politics nexus. Spinoza sketches a vision of a radically democratic polity in which individuals realize their potential by forming affective alliances that jointly strive for insights into what enables or hinders their thriving. However, such active affects of allegiance present only one possible way to flesh out the philosophical meaning of “political affect” – other options will be discussed as well. In the second half of the entry, we draw on Foucault, Ann Stoler and others to explore ways in which affective phenomena get mobilized and regimented in order to support and sustain political rule. This rubric – “affects in politics” – includes a broad range of official and unofficial techniques of governance that target or involve affect, as well the affective modes of resistance that these efforts often evoke.
In this initial entry of the Affective Societies: Key Concepts volume we outline a basic understanding of affect circumscribing a general tendency that we deem fruitful as an analytical perspective. This understanding builds on a notion of affect as relational dynamics between evolving bodies in a setting, thus contrasting with approaches to affect as inner states, feelings or emotions. “Affect” designates specifically those encounters between bodies that involve a change – either enhancement or diminishment – in their respective bodily capacities or micro-powers. Thus, affect is inextricable from an approach to power, understood as relations of reciprocal efficaciousness between bodies – human as well as non-human – in a particular domain. This suggests an affect-based perspective on the dynamic formation and subsequent transformation of individual entities – their ontogenesis and individuation – instead of assuming that entities, whether ordinary objects or human actors, are ready-made, stable and fixed. For human actors, affects are material and ideational relations that, in the short term, increase or diminish their agentive and existential capacities in relation to their surroundings and all other actors and entities present in a situation. In the longer term, affective relations constitute human and nonhuman actors, insofar as affective relations over time both establish and subsequently modulate – make, unmake, remake – individual capacities and dispositions. In other words, relational affect is a central factor in the process of subject formation. Moreover, relational affect is a driving force in the formation and subsequent consolidation of larger aggregates of bodies, that is, in processes of collectivization.
Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock is a classic of the futurist genre. The book makes a simple but striking argument: our world is changing too quickly for humans to keep up. Whatever the reality was in 1970, this is a sentiment that seems to be widely shared today. …